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AIDS is one of the biggest threats to humanity, especially in Africa. During World AIDS Day (December 1st), professional footballers from various African countries showed their commitment to the fight against this terrible disease.

 

The professional footballers associations in Botswana (FUB) and Morocco (AMF) initiated campaigns.

 

Botswana

Kgosana Masaseng, FUB’s head of communications explains: ‘Footballers are a mirror of our society, and do not exist in isolation from the society they come from. If anything, they have a big influence on their fans and we intend to use this influence for good by letting these role models speak about HIV/AIDS at major events.’

 

‘This initiative will advance on the basis of a shared desire between the Government and other strategic partners to intensify the campaign for the reduction of HIV transmission and eliminate AIDS-related stigma amongst members of the public.’

 

For example, various tournaments in Botswana are providing a convenient platform for spreading healthy living messages, including HIV/AIDS prevention.

 

Masaseng continues: ‘At FUB, we strongly believe that through the relationship, we could provide a unique and fresh exciting campaign to increase HIV testing by using our football stars and other incentives to test and foster a supportive environment for behaviour change.’

 

‘One of the things that we strive to achieve is opening the channels of communication between youth and adults as well as removing the fear and stigma that tends to surround testing for HIV/AIDS.’ 

 

Morocco

In Morocco, the AMF also mobilized its members, the professional footballers. ‘This day is an opportunity for our players’ association to show the importance we give to the fight against AIDS’, says Mustapha El Hadaoui, the president of the AMF.

 

The footballers not only showed their awareness before and during the matches. The Moroccan footballers’ association requested its members to distribute approximately 6,000 flyers among young footballers in their neighborhoods. El Hadaoui: ‘By doing this, we hope to improve prevention, especially in areas where young children are being misinformed.’

 

‘Although we still have high hopes that this disease can be treated, the best way to deal with this danger remains protection. We count on everyone’s cooperation for the good of not only our young football players, but also our younger generation.’

 

Pictures from Morocco (Click to enlarge)

 

 

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